The Medieval Mudejar Craftsmen of Teruel Cathedral

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Groundbreaking for Teruel Cathedral in Aragon, Spain, was in 1171 with consecration around 400 years later. Much of the construction and artwork was done by mudejar craftsmen. The nave has a wonderful coffered ceiling decorated with carvings and painted in saturated colors of red, blue, yellow, orange, green and black.

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One of the painted horizontal supports features the woodworkers of the cathedral:

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Here is a closer look at this lively group:

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The carpenter in the middle row on the left is carving one of the eagles that decorate the ends of many of the beams.

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The very limber toastmaster is smack in the middle and his buddy, to the right, is motioning for a round. Note the snappy striped outfits of the carpenters. The artists that painted the carpenters did not leave themselves out. They are shown, in more sober dress, in another section and in this panel are either being offered more paint or a refreshing drink.

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Many cathedrals and other buildings, great and small, have depictions of the community of craftsmen that worked to construct those buildings. They can be seen in stone carvings, painted panels, stained glass windows and misericords, and they are mostly anonymous. I like to think that somewhere in each carving or painting a small set of initials or a symbol has been left by the artisan.

Many more images and the history of the cathedral can be found at the Spanish-language site: http://www.aragonmudejar.com.

Also, those red, yellow and blue striped shop aprons are a trend waiting to happen.

— Suzanne Ellison

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2 Responses to The Medieval Mudejar Craftsmen of Teruel Cathedral

  1. I absolutely love this sort of thing. The artisans showing a bit of themselves in real life. Thank you for this one.

  2. John Hippe says:

    Great pictures. Thanks. Very fascinating to see life and woodworking depicted from that time.

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